A Massachusetts student exposed shoppers at the Kittery Outlet Malls to measles last week, prompting the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to caution unvaccinated residents to watch for symptoms of the highly contagious illness.

The student, an unvaccinated individual originally from western Europe, visited the shops on April 20 while infected with the virus, health officials said. Between noon and 3 p.m., the student stopped at several stores, including the Kittery Trading Post, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and J. Crew.

Massachusetts public health officials notified the Maine CDC of the issue Tuesday. While Maine CDC considers anyone visiting the shops during that time exposed to measles, it has confirmed no new cases of the illness.

“Since measles is a contagious airborne disease, people who were at the Kittery malls from noon to 5 p.m. on April 20 should check their immunization records and be aware of the symptoms,’’ Dr. Christopher Pezzullo, acting chief health officer of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, said in a news release.

People vaccinated against measles are unlikely to be affected, health officials said.

Pezzullo said a widespread measles outbreak was unlikely, given high vaccination rates against the illness in Maine.


Measles symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. A rash breaks out three to five days after symptoms begin, often beginning as flat red spots on the face at the hairline that spread down.

“Infected people are contagious from four days before their rash starts through four days after,” Pezzullo said. “As the exposure took place nine days ago, early treatments for those who may have been impacted is not effective. We recommend that a person with symptoms contact their primary care provider by phone to discuss treatment, as isolation to prevent the spread of measles may be necessary.”

Maine’s last recorded case of measles was in 1997.

“Most measles cases in this country have been among unvaccinated people and people with unknown vaccination status,” Pezzullo said. “This incident offers an opportunity to encourage people to know their vaccination status and to get vaccinated if necessary.”

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